Counselling and Therapy for Separation Anxiety in children and teenagers

Separation anxiety in children and teenagers

A lot of children will experience difficulties in separating from parents or caregivers as young babies and toddlers, and it is common for some older children or teenagers to experience anxiety or upset when faced with long periods of separation, such as a school trip.

However, for some young people, separation anxiety is a much more pervasive issue, disrupting social life or school achievements. Troubles with sleep and excessive stress at the thought of separation can be really disruptive to your child’s day-to-day life.

Separation anxiety may present at the transition to primary school or secondary school, but is most common among children in middle childhood (ages 6 to 12 years). Roughly 6% of children and adolescents will experience separation anxiety.

If you have observed your child struggling with being separated from their important caregivers, clinical psychology therapy for separation anxiety could help. Effective talking therapies, used by highly experienced child specialists, are available at our clinic in the North West London area.

Seperation Anxiety

How do I know if my child or teenager has separation anxiety?

The most common presenting symptom of separation anxiety is a disproportionate level of fear prompted by separation from a caregiver, such as a parent, sibling or family friend. This anxiety can disrupt many aspects of your child’s life.

You might notice that your son or daughter is exhibiting the following:

  • Unrealistic and preoccupying worry about harm being caused to their caregiver, or worry that they may not return if separated.
  • Disproportionate worry that an event such as being lost or kidnapped will lead to separation from their major caregiver.
  • Reluctance or refusal to go to school for fear of separation.
  • Being overly clingy to you or another caregiver.
  • Reluctance or refusal to go to sleep unless their carer is near them.
  • Excessive fear of being alone.
  • Nightmares about separation.
  • Distress in anticipation of separation.

Physical symptoms of anxiety may also present, these being:

  • Sweating.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Feeling that their heart is racing.
  • Stomach aches.
  • Trembling or restless fidgeting.

Separation anxiety left untreated can cause a significant interruption to your child’s social life and can negatively impact your home life. Peer relationships and academic performance may also deteriorate. Seeking help is the best way to combat separation anxiety, so please get in touch if you believe your child struggles with any of the above symptoms.

How can I help my child or teenager with separation anxiety?

If you have noticed the above symptoms in your child, we recommend you get in touch to book a free telephone consultation.

As a parent, it can be distressing to watch your child or teenager struggle with separation anxiety. The good news is, there are evidence-based, modern and effective counselling and therapy methods for anxiety available in North West London with Harwood Child Psychology. Our approach of using only rigorously tested and NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) approved treatments dramatically increases the chance of seeing real improvements in your child.

At Harwood Child Psychology, we offer effective therapies to help your child understand their worries and learn the necessary relaxation techniques to help them gain control of their anxiety. We have good experience of helping young people to overcome their separation anxiety.

In line with national scientific guidelines, CBT at Harwood Child Psychology is conducted with your child alongside family and school involvement. As a parent, you can follow your child’s progress and help them develop Challenge-Test-Reward skills to manage their separation anxiety.

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Parents always want to help their child overcome their separation anxiety, but may inadvertently perpetuate their worries, making the situation worse through their efforts to help. Parents are always involved in the treatment at Harwood Child Psychology to make sure everyone is working together effectively.

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We offer cost-effective, evidence-based treatment with a highly qualified clinical psychologist. You can be sure that your child or teenager is in safe hands. We pride ourselves on a high quality, warm and compassionate service that can help your son or daughter overcome their anxiety.

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Harwood Child Psychology provides engaging and effective therapy for anxiety in Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Highgate, Hampstead, Finchley and the wider North West London area.

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